Cupping has been used for centuries. Archeological findings found cultures that utilized animal horns and bamboo for cupping therapy.
Cupping creates a suction on the body that mechanically pulls on the fascia and muscle tissue creating a nice stretch for the tissue. The friction, especially with running and dynamic styles of cupping stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic movement.
It is common to get cupping “hickies” that make you look like you’ve just fought off an octopus. These marks are indicative of chronic physiological pattern such as poor circulation from either excess or deficiency. From a Chinese medicine standpoint, the underlying excess or deficiency is important for determining types of therapies or exercise styles that fit better with the patient’s constitution.